'It nearly took my leg off': British grandfather on holiday in Australia 'grabbed shark by tail to save bathers'
Monday 21 January 2013
A British grandfather on holiday in Australia is being hailed as a hero after he grabbed a shark by its tail and tried to drag it away from people playing at the edge of the sea.
Paul Marshallsea, 62, from Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, was on a beach north of Brisbane in Queensland when a siren was sounded to warn of a shark in the water.
Mr Marshallsea ran to the shoreline and grabbed the 2m (6ft) shark by the tail.
A local TV crew, who happened to be filming on the beach, captured the moment the Welsh grandfather turned shark wrestler.
Mr Marshallsea and another man were filmed grabbing the shark and attempting to push it back out to sea.
But as the shark thrashed to free itself, Mr Marshallsea fell into the waves, and the creature turned and snapped its jaws just inches from his leg.
Mr Marshallsea said: "It just missed me with a bite, which was a fraction away from my leg. A shark that one minute ago was so docile now just nearly took my leg off."
Mr Marshallsea said his "instincts took over" when he saw a number of young children in the water, the Daily Mirror said.
Holidaymakers on the beach watched as Mr Marshallsea and another man attempted to encourage the dusky whaler shark to head back out to sea.
"It's shallow for about six yards where the shark was and a lot of babies and toddlers splash about there," Mr Marshallsea said. "It could have been very nasty.
"My instincts took over and I grabbed the shark by the tail. I know it was dangerous but it almost looked beautiful. You have to respect a beautiful animal.
"When I dragged the shark to just over knee-deep, he turned on me and just missed me with a bite. It nearly took my leg off in a split second. It was that quick."
The incident, which was reported to have happened at Bulcock Beach in Caloundra, about 55 miles (88km) north of Brisbane, was witnessed by Australian lifeguard Luke Turner.
Mr Turner told Sky News he and a colleague had been following the shark around all morning before it swam into the bathing area.
"We chased it away and called in the helicopter for back-up. Then a few hours passed and it happened to come back in.
"A British tourist jumped into the water as well as a wildlife rescue guy, and they pulled it back out to sea.
"Me and my partner proceeded to follow it back out through the channel while it swam back out to sea."
The shark was reported to have been a 6ft (1.8m) dusky whaler shark, a species which rarely attacks humans.
Wildlife experts reportedly said the shark may have been so close to shore because it was sick or injured and so was stressed and disorientated.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...